Have you felt more empowered this year than you have in years past? Have you been more willing to stand up for your rights and for justice in general? If so, you may be one of the 3,620 whistleblowers who provided the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Whistleblowers during the 2014 fiscal year. According to the commission, the number of whistleblowers who provided tips during this period of time jumped a staggering 10.1 percent over the number of whistleblowers who came forward during the 2013 fiscal year.
The SEC’s whistleblower program was established in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Since it was enacted, it has helped to inform the government about illegal actions while protecting whistleblowers from retaliation and allowing whistleblowers to keep between 10 and 30 percent of any monetary sanctions collected in connection with particular cases. In order to better ensure their protection, the SEC protects the identities of whistleblowers.
Although the SEC primarily concerns itself with tips from whistleblowers who have information about securities violations, the whistleblowing activities of these individuals can certainly affect their job stability. It is in this sense that providing information to the SEC can become an employment law issue.
If you are one of the thousands of Americans brave enough to become a whistleblower in any securities or employment context and you have concerns about how your efforts will impact your employment, please do not hesitate to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Source: Business Insurance, “Whistleblower tips to SEC up 10% in 2014,” Judy Greenwald, Nov. 19, 2014